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Contemporary Issues Affecting The Hospitality Industry

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Question:

Write an Essay on a Contemporary Issue Affecting the Hospitality Industry.
 
 

Anwer:

Introduction

Hospitality industry is one of the largest employment and business sectors in the world. With the rapid growth of this industry, various modern trends are being introduced according to the demand of the customers and the tourists. Along with various modern trends such as the introduction of the boutique hotels, the use of organic food is another latest trend that has caused a significant change in the industry. The use of organic food in Thailand has changed the overall food trends in the country and the hotels and restaurants have been innovating their recipes using organic food. This assignment highlights the modern trends of the hospitality industry, focusing specifically on the use of organic food in Thailand. A detailed definition of the organic food has been presented, along with highlighting the drivers of the trends of the hospitality industry. The impact of the organic food and its use in hospitality industry has been highlighted. Some limitations that might be faced by the hospitality industry are also mentioned in this assignment. A self-reflection on the effects of organic food on the future career have been included in this assignment. Finally, a self-reflection on the modern trend and its effects on the future career options have been included in this assignment.     

Definition of organic food

Organic food refers to the food products that are grown without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic fertilisers. Genetically modified organisms and the process of ionizing radiation are not used in cultivation of the organic foods. Organic food also includes dairy and poultry products (Teng and Wang 2015). These poultry and dairy products are obtained from the animals that are not given growth hormones and antibiotics. The use of pesticides in the crops, damages the crops and degrades the nutritional value of the food. Pesticides applied in excessive amount in the food crops results in causing various illnesses in the human beings, including deadly diseases such as cancer (Wee et al. 2014). However, the food that are organically grown does not guarantee that they are toxin-free. Plants produce and secrete their own natural toxins and these might result in contamination of the organic food products as well (Hua and Batra 2015). The organic food products are supposed to be a healthier version of their non-organic counterpart. Researchers highlights the fact that organically grown food are much safer than the conventionally grown crops since they ensure that the amount of pesticides are negligible, and hence the toxin levels are also low (Riley et al. 2015). It has also been found that the organic products are 30% safer than the conventional crops and has 30% lower risks of being contaminated with pesticides. Though it is true that organic food products are not 100% chemical free, yet the levels of chemical found in these crops are within the tolerable level of the human beings, and does not cause fatal harm (Riley et al. 2015). Organic food products have certain restrictions regarding the permissible amount of natural contaminates allowed. The levels of the contaminants have to be quiet low such that the human beings are not adversely affected.

 


However, even though organic foods have lower levels of chemicals it is always advisable to rinse the vegetables and fruits thoroughly, before consumption. In Thailand, the use of organic food has been popularized by most of the restaurants, as they prefer using the organic food products rather than the conventional food products (Niggli 2015). Moreover, the customers also prefer the restaurants serving organic food, rather than the use of the commercial crops. The National Organic Program has categorised organic foods into various categories and labels (Riley et al. 2015). These are as follows:

100 % Organic: These refer to the organic food products that have no synthetic ingredients. These products contain the USDA organic seals.

Organic: These categorise the products that are at least 95% organically produced.

Made with organic ingredients: The food products that are at least 70 % organic or uses at least 70 % organic ingredients comes under this category.    

Drivers of the trend

The drivers of the trends of the use of organic food products in the hospitality industry include a wide variety of reasons. These are as follows:

  1. Consciousness among the consumers: One of the major drivers of the trends of use of organic food is the health consciousness among the customers and visitors of the hospitality industry. With this rise in health consciousness and urge for a healthy living, the customers prefer eating out at restaurants; yet abide to the healthy ways of lifestyle (Kottala and Singh 2015). As the customers started preferring the restaurant and cafes using organic food products, the other restaurants, not following the trends started losing their position in the hospitality industry (Riley et al. 2015). Thus, the consciousness among the regular customers is one of the most prominent driving forces.     
  2. Increase in the various fatal diseases: With the increase in the various new diseases, the researchers have highlighted that increase in the use of pesticides it and chemicals are the causes of the fatal diseases such as cancer (Nuttavuthisit and Thogersen, 2015). With these findings, the levels of conciseness among the customers increased and they preferred use of organic food products, in their houses. This trend spread widely in the restaurants as well, since the number of customers started decreasing, being unsure of the kind of crops and ingredients used (Riley et al. 2015).
  3. Excessive use of the chemical fertilizers: With the rise in the population in the cities, the demand of the food crops also increased. In order to meet this increased demand, the farmers have been increasing the amount of the fertilizers, to grow more crops in lesser time (Denver and Christensen 2015). Thus, the nutritional value of the crops and fruits are lost and are contaminated with harmful chemicals. Thus, the excessive use of chemicals and pesticides in the crops are also a driving trend of the use of organic food in the hospitality industry (Pomsanam et al. 2014).   
  4. Increase in the growth and supply of the organic food products: As the consciousness among the customers increases, the organic farming also increases. Thus, the adequate growth of the organic crops and its availability in the markets also encouraged the use of organic food products in the hospitality industry (Grunert et al. 2014). More farmers are encouraged to produce organic crops and farm organic cattle, thus increasing the supply of organic products, in sufficient quantity.  
  5. Change in lifestyle of the people: The change in the lifestyle of the people in the society and their inclination towards a healthy lifestyle led to the use of the organic food in the hospitality industry. The change in the lifestyle of the people led to the use of organic food products and dairy items, eliminating the use of conventional crops and the genetically modified crops (Al-Swidi et al. 2014). Thus, the changes in the lifestyle of the people resulted in the setting of the new trends in the hospitality industry of Thailand.

Thus, the above-mentioned factors are the main drivers of the trends of using the organic food in the hospitality industry of Thailand. These driving forces resulted in the change of the trends in hospitality industry in Thailand.

 

Impact on the hospitality industry

Organic foods of Thailand are booming more than the conventional foods. Consumers of Thailand are ready to pay more for the organic foods. They are paying 15% to 50% more than the conventional foods. The trend of consuming organic foods are increasing that affects the hospitality industry of Thailand. Hospitality industry mainly incorporates hotel industry in this context. The hotels and restaurants of Thailand are targeting more customers not only in their accommodation parts but also in their food services. There are drastic changes noticed in the tastes and preferences of travellers and Thai people while choosing food in the restaurants. The guests of the hotel are opting for healthier organic foods (Nasir and Karakaya 2014). They expect that hotels and restaurants must have the options for both conventional foods and organic foods. The hotel industry of Thailand must accommodate with the recent changes of the food patterns of the consumers that are shifting towards nutrient rich and healthier meals. The sense of health and wellness among the consumers are increasing day by day that are responsible for the growth of sales of organic foods in the market (Xie et al. 2015). It can be said that the sales of conventional foods are decreasing in many restaurants compared to the rate of increase of organic food sales. The expectations of the customers are shifting towards the preferences of various organic foods while choosing hotels for accommodation (Ali et al. 2014). Being a leisure traveller or a business traveller, they are choosing hotels for staying where organic foods are available.

Following this trend, the hotels of Thailand are eliminating foods which are more oily and unhealthy. Foods and drinks like colas, soda, French fries, hamburgers, etc. are eliminated from the kitchens of the hotels and restaurants. It can be said that customers are demanding more vegetarian foods compared to non-vegetarian foods. Guests usually opt for special diets that are gluten free. Earlier people do not care about their components of foods. Now people are more health conscious that has raised the popularity of the organic foods in Thailand. Hotels of Thailand not only serve Thai cuisines but also they serve various mouth watering platters of organic foods of different types of cuisines. In the hotels, usually the guests are welcomed with tea and coffee. This has turned into organic tea and organic coffee (Teng and Lu 2016). It will not only increase the profitability of the hotels but also it will increase the customer accommodation of the hotels. The most important influence of the growth of organic foods in Thailand is the increase in the profitability. It is seen that the hotels which serve organic foods to the visitors are preferred more by the travellers compared to the hotels providing conventional foods. Hence, the trend of organic foods acts as a catalyst to the hospitality industry for increase in the profitability. It is an important tool apart from providing excellent customer services that attracts more visitors in the luxury hotels of Thailand. Service and the food are the main aspects that customers in hospitality industry look force while opting a hotel for stay (Hua and Batra 2015).

Limitations

Apart from having many benefits of the growth of organic foods in Thailand, there are many limitations also. The growth of organic foods is considered as a boon to the hospitality industry especially to the 5 star, 4 star, boutique hotels of Thailand. Apart from that, these luxury hotels are making collaborations with the foreign companies that are selling different kinds of organic foods (Riley et al. 2015). To maintain the service of the luxury hotels of Thailand in an international standard, collaboration with the different clients of organic food suppliers in abroad is done which affects the businesses of the organic food suppliers in Thailand (Pratt, Mackenzie and Lockwood Sutton 2016). For instance, the case study of Le Meridien hotel of Thailand states that the hotel has a collaboration with an Italian coffee manufacturer Illy. The company is responsible for creating a great coffee culture. Apart from that, the guests also demanded for fresh pressed juices that are especially popular in United States of America (Wang, Chan and Pan 2015). Hence, the fruits that are used for making fresh pressed juices are imported from America which are organic. This is responsible for the decline in the business of the local organic food suppliers in the country.

 


There is another perspective of the limitations of the growth of organic foods in the hospitality industry. It is seen that the growth of organic foods in Thailand have many barriers. One of the important barriers for growth are the excessive use of pesticides for raising the conventional crops (Riley et al. 2015). However, to raise organic crops, the fields must be irrigated with ample amount of water. The fields have to pass the tests for the pollutants and the level of pesticides in the fields. The fields besides any industrial complex and factories are not eligible for the growth of the organic crops cultivation (Kareklas, Carlson and Muehling 2014). Hence, the production of organic products sometimes does not meet the demands of the hotels in Thailand. It is decreasing the business of the hotels of Thailand. In many cases, the organic food suppliers of Thailand are not able to deliver the orders of the luxury hotels; hence, it can cause loss of customers as well as profitability of the hotels and its reputation among the minds of the domestic and international travellers of Thailand (Supanti, Butcher and Fredline 2015).

Self reflection on the effects of this trend and future career

The effect of the new trend of using organic food in the hospitality industry has a significant effect on the future career. My career would find a new avenue of growth with this new trend setting in the hospitality industry. With the modern trend of use of organic food products setting in, a new career option that I might explore is the art of cooking and preparing food with the organic ingredients along with retaining the nutritional values of the organic ingredients. Moreover, with the use of organic dairy products, a new style of cooking could be adopted, such that the organic values are kept intact. This modern trend requires the cooking style with least amount of oil and boiled and grilled or baked rather than fried food items. Thus, with the new trends of the hospitality industry, new career options could be explored (Riley et al. 2015). Along with opening new career options, I can engage myself in the career options such as nutritionists for the hospitality industry, and ensure that the organic food products used are healthy and within the tolerance level of chemical intoxication of the human beings. Moreover, with the introduction of organic food products, the people consuming the food would be healthier and less intoxicated with the chemical fertilizers.

 

Conclusion

With the increasing demand of the organic foods in Thailand, it is responsible for the increasing trade opportunities not only for the hospitality industry but also to the local organic food producers, restaurant operators, importers and exporters, etc. In hospitality industry, organic foods growth enhances the hotel into higher expectations of the visitors, sustainability promotion, improved quality of life of the consumers as well as the organic farmers, etc. It can be said that the integration of organic foods in the hospitality industry incorporates the positive awareness, improved brand image of the hotels in Thailand. However, it can be said that the hotels can increase various elements of brand image such as sustainability, green approaches and responsible. It ultimately leads to the increased profitability along with the good market reputation of the luxury hotels in Thailand.

 

References

Ali, F., Rezaei, S., Hussain, K. and Ragavan, N.A., 2014. International business travellers’ experience with luxury hotel restaurants: the impact of foodservice experience and customer satisfaction on dining frequency and expenditure. International Journal of Hospitality and Event Management, 1(2), pp.164-186.

Al-Swidi, A., Mohammed Rafiul Huque, S., Haroon Hafeez, M. and Noor Mohd Shariff, M., 2014. The role of subjective norms in theory of planned behavior in the context of organic food consumption. British Food Journal, 116(10), pp.1561-1580.

Denver, S. and Christensen, T., 2015. Organic food and health concerns: a dietary approach using observed data. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 74, pp.9-15.

Grunert, K.G., Hieke, S. and Wills, J., 2014. Sustainability labels on food products: Consumer motivation, understanding and use. Food Policy, 44, pp.177-189.

Hua, N. and Batra, A., 2015. The new trends and innovations in selected five-star hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. International Research E-Journal on Business and Economics, 1(2).

Hua, N. and Batra, A., 2015. The new trends and innovations in selected five-star hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. International Research E-Journal on Business and Economics, 1(2).

Kareklas, I., Carlson, J.R. and Muehling, D.D., 2014. “I eat organic for my benefit and yours”: Egoistic and altruistic considerations for purchasing organic food and their implications for advertising strategists. Journal of advertising, 43(1), pp.18-32.

Kottala, S.Y. and Singh, R., 2015. A review of sustainability, deterrents, personal values, attitudes and purchase intentions in the organic food supply chain. Pacific Science Review B: Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(3), pp.114-123.

Nasir, V.A. and Karakaya, F., 2014. Underlying motivations of organic food purchase intentions. Agribusiness, 30(3), pp.290-308.

Niggli, U., 2015. Sustainability of organic food production: challenges and innovations. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 74(01), pp.83-88.

Nuttavuthisit, K. and Thøgersen, J., 2015. The importance of consumer trust for the emergence of a market for green products: The case of organic food. Journal of Business Ethics, pp.1-15.

Pomsanam, P., Napompech, K. and Suwanmaneepong, S., 2014. Factors Driving Thai Consumers' Intention to Purchase Organic Foods. Asian Journal of Scientific Research, 7(4), p.434.

Pratt, S., Mackenzie, M. and Lockwood Sutton, J., 2016. Food miles and food choices: the case of an upscale urban hotel in Hong Kong. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, pp.1-17.

Riley, D., Martins da Silva, P. and Behr, S., 2015. The impact of packaging design on health product perceptions.

Supanti, D., Butcher, K. and Fredline, L., 2015. Enhancing the employer-employee relationship through corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(7), pp.1479-1498.

Teng, C.C. and Lu, C.H., 2016. Organic food consumption in Taiwan: motives, involvement, and purchase intention under the moderating role of uncertainty. Appetite, 105, pp.95-105.

Teng, C.C. and Wang, Y.M., 2015. Decisional factors driving organic food consumption: generation of consumer purchase intentions. British Food Journal, 117(3), pp.1066-1081.

Wang, D., Chan, H. and Pan, S., 2015. The Impacts of Mass Media on Organic Destination Image: A Case Study of Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 20(8), pp.860-874.

Wee, C.S., Ariff, M.S.B.M., Zakuan, N., Tajudin, M.N.M., Ismail, K. and Ishak, N., 2014. Consumers perception, purchase intention and actual purchase behavior of organic food products. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 3(2), p.378.

Xie, B., Wang, L., Yang, H., Wang, Y. and Zhang, M., 2015. Consumer perceptions and attitudes of organic food products in Eastern China. British Food Journal, 117(3), pp.1105-1121.

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